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Gynecol Oncol. 2001 Feb;80(2):176-80.

Occult cancer of the fallopian tube in BRCA-1 germline mutation carriers at prophylactic oophorectomy: a case for recommending hysterectomy at surgical prophylaxis.

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Department of OB/GYN, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.



BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 germline mutations increase the risk of ovarian and breast cancer. Primary cancer of the fallopian tube is rare; however, recent evidence suggests that patients harboring a germline mutation conferring an increased risk of ovarian cancer may be at risk for fallopian tube cancer as well. We discuss the finding of occult fallopian tube cancer diagnosed at surgical prophylaxis in women harboring BRCA-1 mutations.


Two patients undergoing surgical prophylaxis to address an increase in ovarian cancer risk were discovered to harbor occult primary fallopian tube carcinoma on final pathology review. Mutational analysis confirmed the presence of a deleterious mutation in BRCA-1 in both patients.


Currently, consensus opinions regarding ovarian cancer surgical prophylaxis in gene mutation carriers do not include hysterectomy as part of the preventative procedure. This report as well as a growing number of cases of fallopian tube cancer reported in known BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 mutation carriers has important implications for recommendations regarding surgical prophylaxis in these women.

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